The Best of 2013: Getting Some ZZZZ’s

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“Getting some ZZZs”

Many times I find that people have a hard time sleeping. Understand this, a good 8 hours of sleep is necessary for normal mental and physical functioning. Sleep regulates mood, is related to learning and increases memory functioning. A lack of sleep can cause all kinds of problems. So here are some suggestions for getting those ZZZs.

Develop a relaxing night routine. Get up at the same time every day and go to bed at the same time. As you get closer to bed time turn off some lights, turn down the volume on the day and get your mind and body ready for sleep. Night light is a problem in regulating sleep. Your body has a built in clock that helps you sleep, bright lights throw the body rhythms off. The light from the TV and computer are especially bad. Soften the lights as you get ready for bed.

Our world has an addiction to caffeine. Cut back on your daily intake of the stuff, sodas, chocolate; coffee and tea are all culprits.  At least cut out the coffee long before bedtime. Eating before sleep can be a problem too. Try not eating 2 to 3 hours before sleep. If you have to, protein is a good bet; tryptophan in proteins can make you sleepy.

There is a strong connection between diet, exercise and a good night’s sleep. But exercise in the morning to late afternoon. Exercise at night keeps your engine running and will affect sleep.

Your bedroom is for sleep and lovin’, keep all other distractions out. That includes the computer and the tube. Watching the nightly news will only make you upset and angry anyway. Read a book, your Bible is a good suggestion. But don’t read anything that gets your heart pumping. Ease into your sleep.

 Make your sleep environment comfortable and inviting. Use cool colors in the room. Use blackout curtains to keep the light out of the room. Keep the temperature cool at night and the room well ventilated. A good rule is 75/54. Anything below or above those numbers makes it difficult to sleep. Wear light, loose night clothes in bed.

You need a good night’s sleep. So many things depend on the time you spend in dreamland. So take the steps necessary to get your ZZZs.